- The Washington Times - Monday, October 16, 2017

ASHBURN — Another game, another slew of injuries for the banged-up Washington Redskins.

The Redskins will be without rookie Jonathan Allen for the next 3-4 weeks after the defensive lineman suffered a lisfranc sprain in his left foot during Washington’s 26-24 win Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Kicker Dustin Hopkins is “week-to-week” with a hip injury and the Redskins will bring in kickers for an audition during the week, in case Hopkins can’t go next Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

And, with a secondary already banged up, safeties Montae Nicholson (shoulder aggravation) and Stefan McClure (left knee hyperextension) were hurt, as well. Starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland has a knee sprain.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced the injuries Monday.

Of the Redskins’ new injuries, Allen’s is most troubling. Taken with the 17th overall pick, the Redskins drafted Allen out of Alabama to anchor their defensive line. Now, Gruden said Allen will visit Dr. Robert Anderson for a further diagnosis.

Allen had 10 tackles and a sack in five games.

“It’s an impact,” Gruden said. “He’s been playing well. We have a good group of defensive lineman and we had a good strong rotation going.”

Gruden said Anthony Lanier would replace Allen on game-days. Lanier joined the Redskins as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He’s been inactive in every game so far, but Gruden said Lanier has gotten much stronger in the weight room.

“We’ll see how it translates on game days,” Gruden said. “He could be apart of the rotation, not just on third down. He might have to play some early downs, but he’s a guy that’s hopefully is getting better at not just rushing the passer, but playing the run.”

Statistically, Allen hasn’t had a dominant season, but he played a significant role on the Redskins’ defensive line — appearing on 50.2 percent of Washington’s defensive snaps. The Redskins use Allen as their right defensive end, but rotate the defensive line to keep players fresh and give teams different looks.

This year, the Redskins have allowed just 88 rushing yards per game, eighth-best in the NFL, due to a stronger presence up-front and the addition of linebacker Zach Brown and safety D.J. Swearinger. 

Gruden said Allen already plays like a veteran.

“He has got great fundamentals,” Gruden said. “He’s got a great idea of run/pass, how to get off blocks. He has got strong hands and he was getting a pretty consistent pass rush push. He doesn’t have a lot of sacks obviously, but he was getting push in the pocket, which was critical for the interior guys so the edge guys can get home.”

As for Hopkins, the kicker has a right hip rotator muscle strain. Gruden said he learned of the injury Monday morning after Hopkins got an MRI. Hopkins missed a pivotal extra point near the end of the 49ers game.

If Hopkins can’t play, the Redskins will need to clear a roster spot for another kicker. They could always waive or put Hopkins on injured reserve to make room.

Meanwhile, the Redskins’ secondary will be a wait-and-see scenario throughout the week. Gruden said Breeland could possibly play in Philadelphia despite exiting the 49ers game in the third quarter.

Breeland was chop blocked by 49ers tackle Joe Staley, which led Gruden to initially believe the cornerback was going to miss a bit of time.

“Breeland’s always been a fast healer,” Gruden said. “He’s like Gumby.”

Gruden didn’t rule out Josh Norman (fractured rib) making his return, either, adding the cornerback will increase his exercise and running and will be re-evaluated mid-week.

“We don’t want this thing to get re-injured obviously, but if he can go, I’m sure Josh will go,” Gruden said.

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